Wednesday, 18 February 2015

A Golden Bear in absentia for new Taxi film

Taxis in Tehran
Jafar Panani's new film, Taxi, premiered in competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. On February 15, Panahi was awarded the Golden Bear for the film in absentia.

Taxi is a 2015 Iranian drama film starring and directed by Panahi. The documentary-like film is set in a Tehran taxi, driven by Panahi. The passengers, played by non-professional actors whose identities remain anonymous, confide to their taxi driver about their lives. The resultant film has been described as "a portrait of the Iranian capital".

The award was collected in Berlin by Panahi's niece, Hana Saeidi, who also appears in the film. The Iranian film director, screenwriter, and film editor, has been banned from making films and travelling since 2010. Panahi's feature film debut, The White Balloon, won the Caméra d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, the first such award won by an Iranian film.

Editor's note: Despite our name, we love honest taxi drivers, and are pleased to bring you this good news taxi story (see the story of how we got our name).

Related resources
Berlin film festival top prize goes to Jafar Panahi's Taxi - CBC
50 Reasons Why Taxi Driver Might Just Be The Greatest Film Of All Time - What Culture
10 Taxi episodes that find heart and humor in a dead-end job - AV Club
Taxi was one wild boozy ride... Danny DeVito recalls life on the classic sitcom - Daily Mail
Top 10 films about taxi drivers - Top 10 Films
Top 10 taxi drivers in movies - Harmony Cars blog
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) transportation guide
Tehran Mehrabad International Airport (THR) transportation guide

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Ridesharing NYC airport choppers take off

Great photo of Gotham Air choppers from their website
Gotham Air is now offering Manhattan business people and commuters an opportunity to skip street traffic and take to the air to reach John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in a matter of minutes with their new helicopter service. Starting this week, rides will go as low as $99 for those beta testing their website and thereafter fares could be on par or slightly higher than taking a taxi.

An app has been developed which enables potential customers to see which flights are available and which ones are still on standby waiting for the maximum number of seats to be filled before take-off.

Don't see a time you like? Request a new flight time, and as soon as 3 others book, your trip is confirmed. We see a Twitter hashtag taking hold.

Passengers head down to the Manhattan helipad to wait in the Gotham lounge before boarding the chopper with noise canceling headphones for their quick trip to the airport in record time.

This has the potential to once again make a small dent in NYC's taxi monopoly with more consumer choice. No word yet on flights from these airports, or on LaGuardia yet.

Related Resources
What It’s Like to Fly from Manhattan to JFK in Less Than Seven Minutes - Condé Nast Traveler
"Uber for Helicopters" Is Gross, Absurd and I Want to Use It Every Day - Gizmodo
Gotham Air is like Uber for helicopters in New York [w/video] - Autoblog
Private luxury transfers from NYC airports to Manhattan - BOOK NOW
Private helicopter transfer from NYC airports to Manhattan - BOOK NOW
Private helicopter transfer from Manhattan to NYC airports - BOOK NOW
John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) transportation guide
LaGuardia International Airport (LGA) transportation guide
Newark International Airport (EWR) transportation guide
New York Layover Ideas and Things to Do in New York City

Monday, 9 February 2015

Orbitz drops Skiplagged lawsuit


We recently told you about the lawsuits launched by United Airlines and Orbitz against Skiplagged. Here's the story, in case you missed it: Going into court with dirty hands? Airline and online travel site sue
Today it was reported that Orbitz has dropped its lawsuit. Here are the details:
The jury is still out on the United Airlines suit.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Layover Ideas: Manila

Makati skyline j 0 n
The modern Manila skyline
Have a layover coming up in Manila? Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration.

We've gathered the following resources - tips, stories and layover ideas - to help you get the most out of your time here... [read more].

Want more layover ideas?
• Read more stories on the LayoverIdeas Blog
• Explore cities worldwide on

Related resources
Mugging: are you a target? 10 resources
Spot the deadly fake taxi on your international travels!
Dealing with taxi drivers
Dealing with touts
Airport arrival advice

Uber vs taxi: news update

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have been covering the emergence of how ridesharing companies (such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar) are shaking up taxi drivers and the regulators who govern them. While important, we don't want the Uber vs taxi story to overtake our blog, so we are bringing you broader news updates instead.

2014-01-26 | 23-52-16
creative commons image, joakimformo on Flickr
Here's a recap of recent ridesharing stories that are worth reading:

Hard-Charging Uber Tries Olive Branch - NY Times

Uber stands by drivers as Montreal seizes Uber cars - Mashable

Google vs. Uber: The Future of Ride Sharing - Bloomberg

Don't overload Uber, Lyft with new regulations

Vancouver fleshing out new taxi code: council at odds on how to regulate firms like Uber

Geico launches insurance product for Uber drivers

UberXL to carry larger groups in SUVs or minivans

Uber now complies with India’s two-factor authentication requirement, calls it unnecessary and burdensome

Uber Will Add Panic Button And Location/Journey Sharing In India On February 11

The Sleeping Giant: Uber’s Expansion into Greater China

Uber announces kitten delivery service in Australia, cat lovers go wild

Put to the test: Taxi v Uber

Almost 10,000 People Have Signed This Uber Driver's Petition to Add Tips to the App

Related resources
Uber provides the taxi industry a good kick in the pants
Canadian Taxi Monopoly is attempting to curb consumer choice
Taxi Truths campaign puts lipstick on a pig
Dear Canadian Taxi Monopoly: your Uber Boogie Man doesn't scare me
Security issues threaten to define Uber in India